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Heart breaker in double OT ends Jags' season

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It was a heartbreaking ending for 14 Allen Park seniors at Redford Ice Rink on Thursday night.

A year ago Allen Park topped Divine Child in a wild triple overtime thriller.

Fast forward 364 days and the story was almost exactly the same at Redford Ice Rink but the roles were reversed and DC got the 3-2 win.

After a comfortable two goal lead heading into the third, Divine Child found itself playing almost two full overtime periods before a big game-winning goal.

The goal came with about 30 seconds to play in the second overtime.

Sophomore Gianpaolo Berlasi picked up a puck in the neutral zone, got some speed going down the ice and put a good shot on net.

With other Falcons crashing the net it would have been a hard goal for anyone to stop.

Heading into the third period it was DC’s game to lose.

After a strong first period outing by each team, the rivals found themselves scoreless after 17 minutes.

Just 50 seconds into the second period, DC changed that up.

Anthony Scala took the puck up the left sideboards and popped one over the right shoulder of Allen Park’s Todd Maynard to put the Falcons on the board.

Berlasi and Brock Bacher assisted.

Three and a half minutes later they went up 2-0.

Collin Juszcyk missed a good opportunity but Alex McMann picked up the rebound and smacked it in.

The teams traded penalties in the last part of the second period and DC went into the final intermission with hopes of coming away with the win.

But the Jags had other plans and did not make it easy.

“Our kids battled, battled, battled,” Allen Park Coach John Brithinee said. “I thought we played a good first period. We went down 2-0 in the second and I still thought we played a good period, so I wasn’t upset at all.

“We went into that locker room basically telling those guys this is sports. This is what happens when you compete; sometimes pucks don’t bounce your way. They made a couple nice plays and scored a couple nice goals (and) we had a couple opportunities and we didn’t capitalize on them.”

Allen Park finally lit the lamp with 9:11 left to play and momentum quickly shifted.

Bobby Salerno found the back of the net and suddenly it was a one-goal game.

Brithinee said it was good for his underclassmen to score. He has gone down to using the younger guys because of the work they continued to put it and it paid off.

“We went to those guys and they were giving us a lot of great energy,” Brithinee said. “That was the great part of being on the bench. When they went out there and scored that goal, the upperclassmen on the bench were going crazy.”

If the Jags hadn’t been playing hard before, they were definitely playing hard then.

A minute later Allen Park took a penalty and momentum swung back DC’s way but the Jags stayed cool and killed it off.

Time started winding down and the intensity was winding up for each team. Allen Park was frantically looking to score and force overtime while Divine Child was frantically trying to hang on for the win.

The former happened with 2:45 to play.

David Pischke, who scored the triple overtime winner last season, found the back of the net and suddenly it was a very different game.

Nick Fulton and Jason Obrycki-Smith assisted.

“Dave Pischke did what Dave Pischke can do,” Brithinee said. “I thought he was in my opinion the best player on the ice”

Brithinee said it was a fantastic showdown between Pischke and DC’s Kyle Makowski.

“What else could you ask for to have Pischke vs Makowski,” he said. “I know it was Allen Park vs Divine Child, but you’ve got Dave Pischke who’s a great forward against arguably one of the best defensemen I know in our league.

“They just battled the whole time and just kept hitting each other in the mouth. It was awesome.”

The first overtime passed with some looks from each team and at the end of eight minutes they took a quick break before double overtime.

The Falcons came close just over a minute into the second OT, but Obrycki-Smith picked up the rebound shot and quickly cleared it down the ice.

With 6:33 to go, Divine Child’s Dominic Stankiewicz went down in net and took awhile to come back up.

It was a moment of concern for the Falcons as the junior goalie had been so strong all game.

Divine Child Coach Brandon Kaleniecki said the win was in no means revenge for the way last year’s game played out.

“We certainly don’t look at it as a revenge because they’re a tremendous team in our league and when they beat us last year we wished them all the luck and they did it to us tonight,” he said. “We had that feeling last year so for (us) to feel it the other side this year is good.

“But we’ve still got a long way to go and a big game is right around the corner.”

With the win, DC will move on to play Farmington in Saturday’s regional final.

As for Allen Park, the team will lose a huge core when 14 seniors graduate at the end of this school year.

“It’s very emotional right now; that’s why I had to get out of that locker room very fast,” Brithinee said.

“It’s a sad day. There’s 14 of those guys and I’m gonna miss every one of them.

“They gave their heart out. They’re Jags for life.”

Last Updated: 2/28/2014 1:50:53 PM EST